It's a natural process. In the summer, seagrasses slough off old shoots and grow new ones. The sloughed off grass lands along the coastline, and inevitably, in salt marshes. The plants it lands on get killed. But, as is usually the case in nature, there is another side to this transaction. Dr. Randall Hughes and her crew weigh the benefits of seagrass wrack- the providing of nutrients, habitat, and opportunity for new growth- versus its destructive aspect. Students will see that seagrass wrack can have both positive and negative effects on the marsh, but there is a balance.
Learn more about ecology in North Florida by visiting the WFSU Ecology blog.